The Rampart Stakes on the Florida Derby undercard March 31 at Gulfstream Park is expected to offer a highly-anticipated match-up between Awesome Feather and Awesome Maria.
Frank Stronach’s Awesome Feather has yet to taste defeat. The popular and gutsy filly swept to victories in all six of her races as a juvenile in 2010 and sealed an Eclipse Award in winning that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs for her breeder, Jacks or Better Farm.
The daughter of Journeyman Stud stallion Awesome of Course was sold days later for $2.3 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sales to Frank Stronach.
Awesome Feather missed much of the 2011 season with a tendon problem, but returned in top form for new trainer Chad Brown winning an overnight stakes at Belmont Park in October. She annexed the Gazelle Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct by more than five lengths in late November and the Sunshine Million Distaff over the Gulfstream track last out on Jan. 28 by 5 ¾ lengths.
Awesome Maria, a striking gray mare owned by Mrs. E. Paul Robsham, also missed much of last season. The homebred daughter of Maria’s Mon won the Sabin Stakes (G3) and the Rampart at Gulfstream last year before heading to the sidelines with a condylar fracture following scores in the Shuvee Handicap (G2) in May and the Ogden Phipps Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park in June.
She returned in fine style in this year’s Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream, defeating Eclipse Champion Royal Delta by eight lengths.
For more on Awesome Feather click here.
Gulfstream Park Publicity contributed to this report.
Awesome Feather/Coglianese photo